What’s going on?  Has Grammy lost it?

Because I don’t remember whether my mother or daddy taught me this poem, I don’t know whether it is from olde Ireland or olde England.  But you’ll believe it is olde when you get to the tintype.

Once there was a molice pan
Saw a bittle lum
Sitting on the sturbcone
Chewing gubber rum.
Say, said the molice pan
Won’t you simme gum?
Tixie on your nintype
Said the bittle lum.

I heard this bit of whimsy for the first time when a fellow prisoner, Brenda Starr, quoted it in a “talent show” in Niantic State Prison in 1989.


Once uton a pime in a coreign fountry lived a geautiful birl named Rindecella.  There she lived with her mugly other and two sad bisters.  Also in this coreign fountry lived a prandsome hince.  Now, this prandsome hince was having a bancy fall and was inviting people from riles amound.  But Rindecella couldn’t go because all she had to wear were some old rirty dags.  So she just cat down and sried.  And as she was kitting there srying suddenly appeared her gairy mudfather who said “Rindecella, you can go to the bancy fall.”

He touched her with his wagic mand and there appeared a kig boach and hix white sorses.  “But,” he said, “you must be mome by hidnight or you’ll purn into a tumpkin.”

So Rindecella went to the bancy fall, met the prandsome hince, and nanced all dight and lell in fuv.  Yes, she lell in fuv!  Suddenly the midclock struck night.  Rindecella staced down the rairs and when she beached the rottom, she slopped her dripper.

The next day the prandsome hince went all over the coreign fountry looking for the geautiful birl who had slopped her dripper.  Finally, he got to Rindecella’s house and he tried it on the mugly other, but it fidn’t dit.  Then he tried in on the two sicked wisters, but it fidn’t dit.  Finally he tried it on Rindecella and it fid dit.  And the two of them got harried and lived mappily forafter ever.

Now the storal of the mory is this:  If you’re ever in a coreign fountry, and you want a prandsome hince to lall in fuv with you, don’t forget — slop your dripper!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember what this kind of word play is called and Google wasn’t helping much.  Finally I resorted to AllExperts and the lovely lady, Darleen Claire Wodzenski  (BaDiv, LMT, NMT, ND, ordained minister, licensed neuromuscular therapist and naturopathic holistic practitioner) who replied quite promptly informed me they were spoonerisms.  Then I could go back to google and get the lowdown.

Wikipedia tells me that “a spoonerism is an error in speech or deliberate play on words in which corresponding consonants,  vowels, or morphemes are switched (see metathesis). It is named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), Warden of New College, Oxford, who was notoriously prone to this tendency.”  I also learned that American Country-Western singer/comedian Archie Campbell is famous for his stories of RinderCella (Cinderella).

Other writers and comics have had their way with Rindercella, and a number of versions can be found online both in print and on Youtube.  They are all different, having been tweaked by each to his own liking.

Mardon, me padam, do you occupew this pie?
Indo I deed, sir.
Lorry, sady, you’ll have to take another chew in back of the purch.
Let me sew you to another sheet.

Have a dappy hay.   Mile a slot.     And remember —-


The Lord is a shoving leopard.  Psalm 32.